Support The Moscow Times!

Duma Passes Foreign Accounts Bill in Final Reading

State Duma lawmakers have passed in a third and final reading a bill banning government officials from holding overseas bank accounts and foreign-issued equities.

The new regulation, which was approved late Wednesday in the lower house, was backed by 443 deputies, well above the minimum threshold of 226 votes needed to secure a bill's passage, Interfax reported.

The bill must still be approved by Federation Council senators and signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.

The ban will affect federal and regional government officials, Federation Council senators, deputy heads of government agencies, Central Bank board members, as well as judges, military servicemen, police officers, prosecutors, and customs and tax officials. It also affects spouses and underage children of those officials.

Officials must shed their foreign assets within a three-month period from the bill being signed into law or vacate their positions.

The measure is aimed at ensuring "a brand new level of development for the government" and making officials independent of other countries' interests, the Duma's anti-graft committee chief Irina Yarovaya told journalists Wednesday, RIA-Novosti reported.

The bill doesn't ban officials from owning foreign-based real estate, but it requires that they include all such properties in their income declarations and provide information on financing sources for their purchases.

A handful of lawmakers have found themselves in hot water in recent months after bloggers accused them of owning undeclared real estate abroad.

In the most high-profile example, United Russia Deputy and then-chairman of the Duma ethics commission Vladimir Pekhtin relinquished his seat in late February after being accused of owning undeclared property in Miami.

Related articles:

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more